Marienplatz – The Rathaus and the Glockenspiel – No 2 of Top Ten Things to See and Do – The Best of Munich

The countdown continues! Onward from #3 Eat, Drink and Dance at the Hofbrauhaus on our “Best of Munich” series, here’s what’s next!

#2. Marienplatz, the Rathaus and the Glockenspiel:

Marienplatz is the centre of Munich, where all roads collide and from where you can venture outwards onto your next adventure.

In and around the Marienplatz are loads of things to see and do including the Rathaus, the town hall, on which one will find the Glockenspiel.

While it’s completely normal to walk through the Marienplatz, share a coffee with friends somewhere along the Kaufingerstrasse or stare in awe at the gothic style of the Rathaus built in 1908, watching the animation of the Glockenspiel is a pretty touristy thing to do. So, for ten minutes, just come to terms with being a tourist. This is the corniest thing you can possibly do in Munich and I got berated by my husband endlessly because I continued directing people to this little bit of kitsch (a word I learned in Munich which means tacky, tasteless, corny and otherwise passé.)

The Glockenspiel consists of life-sized figures that move in the same direction three times a day, accompanied, naturally, by folk music played by the chimes. The chimes go off at 11am, and then again at 12pm and 5pm during peak holiday season. At these times, the Glockenspiel comes to life, depicting the marriage of a Bavarian duke and a jousting match between Lothringen and Bavaria. Following the jousting match, the figures on the bottom half of the Glockenspiel begin the Schäfflertanz, a dance preformed by coopers during the plague to lift the spirits of residents.

Marienplatz, outside of the Glockenspiel, is a great place to meet up. Whether it’s for dinner at one of the many restaurants nearby like the Bayerischer Donisl or (a personal favourite) Zum Alte Markt,  in preparation for a day of visiting nearby churches like the Peterskirche, or simply an emergency meeting point in case someone gets lost, Marienplatz is a great place to gather for any occasion.

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Viktualienmarkt – No 6 of Top Ten Things to See and Do – The Best of Munich

The countdown continues, following Odeonsplatz coming is at #7, next up is…

#6. Stroll the Viktualienmarkt:


The Viktualienmarkt is a great stop en route or post a visit to the Marienplatz.

Warning: it is absurdly expensive.

Not interested in dipping into your life savings for a loaf of bread? Don’t buy anything!

Just stroll between booths and gaze at the cheeses, crafts, fruits and vegetables offered by the many a merchant welcoming you to their stalls and handing out samples that will make it really hard not to empty the pockets, or the wallet.

Take in the little statues that can be spotted throughout the market,  and sip from the free fountains gushing with clean water straight from the alps.

And if you’re tummy starts to rumble, try a Leberkäse, taken literally it means “liver cheese” but there’s nothing livery or cheesy about it.

Leberkäse is like the fast food of Munich and can be found just about anywhere, including the airport, the train station and, the Viktualienmarkt. Served on a bun with mustard (optional), it’s akin to North American meatloaf and is a great inexpensive way to cure the cravings when hunger strikes.

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